If your husky has been acting timid or afraid you might want to know why and what you can do about it.
In this post, I will show you why it might be doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my husky act timid? Possible reasons are that it was mistreated, it’s in a new environment, illness, injury, it’s going through a more timid phase as a puppy or you might have been inadvertently rewarding the behavior.
There are actually a number of reasons why your husky might be doing it and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. There are also a number of options you have when getting it to stop.
Why your husky is timid scared or afraid
Each of the different reasons why your husky acts timid, scared or afraid will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will show you a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
The cause could be that there are noises that it does not like. This would be more likely if it is not always afraid but it becomes more afraid when there are certain noises such as thunder and lightning or construction works.
I have written more about why your husky might be afraid of thunder and lightning in this post.
The cause could be that it has been mistreated. This would be more likely if you recently adopted it from a shelter. In this case, it would be likely that it will become more comfortable over the course of weeks and months as it gets used to its new environment. However, you could help by giving it lots of training, exercise and attention.
It could also be the case that someone in its current environment has been mistreating it as well. This would be more likely if there is a certain person that it tends to avoid.
It’s unsure of its environment
The reason why it does it could be that it is unsure of its environment. This would also be more likely if you recently adopted it since it won’t know if the things around it are safe or not. In this case, it would be likely that it will improve over the course of days and weeks. It would also help to give it exercise and to help it to explore its new environment to see that it is safe.
Illness or injury
The cause could be that it has gotten ill or injured. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as limping, being fatigued or crying. If it does seem like it might be ill or injured the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It’s still young
If your husky still a puppy it could be going through a timider stage that many go through. This would be more likely if your puppy is around the age of 6 weeks old since it is not uncommon for Siberian huskies to become slightly timid at around that age. In this case, it would be likely that it will become less timid as it gets older.
You intimidate it
It might be the case that it gets afraid around you because of the way that you interact with it. Instead of approaching it quickly, aggressively or by getting emotional with it, try to interact with it in a calm manner.
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
It could also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it likes when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it becomes timid, it might do it more in order to get those things.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to try and recognize when it is likely to start being timid and to redirect its focus.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out exactly why your husky has been being timid.
If it has always been timid, scared or afraid
It would help to consider whether or not it has always been timid since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If it started doing it more suddenly it would make it more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated or getting ill or injured. It would help to consider if anything else changed at around the same time that it started doing it.
Whereas, if it has always been that way it would be more likely that it learned to be that way by rewarding the behavior, being in a new environment, being a puppy, illness, injury or previous owners mistreating it.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it since it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to become scared when you are about to leave then it would be a sign that it has some separation anxiety. Whereas, if it does it more when there are certain noises outside it would be more likely to have something to do with the noises.
How old it is
It would also help to consider the age of your husky. If it is still a puppy it would be more likely that it will stop doing it as it gets older but it would still help to give it lots of training, exercise and positive attention.
Whereas, if it is an adult it would be more likely that it is due to one of the other reasons mentioned above.
What to do about your husky being timid scared or afraid
Below are some options you have when getting your Siberian husky to be less timid, scared or afraid. You will likely find that a combination of them will work best.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t figure out why your husky has been doing it, your husky has started doing it suddenly and it has been showing signs of illness or injury then the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular husky and to rule out medical causes.
Make sure that it is getting the right amount of exercise
Huskies are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally. Generally, it is recommended for a healthy adult Siberian husky to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your husky is not getting that much it would help to make sure it does.
Avoid negative reinforcement
It would also help to avoid reinforcing the behavior by rewarding it when it does it. Instead, it would help to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to start being afraid.
Be calm around it
Since your own actions might be causing it to be acting that way it would help to be calm around your husky and to avoid making intimidating gestures. It would also help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training as opposed to punishment-based training.
Avoid physical punishment
It might be tempting to punish your husky when it behaves in a way you don’t like but you should avoid doing so since it could be contributing to the behavior. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave in a more enjoyable manner.
Get help from a dog trainer
If you can’t get your husky to stop doing it, consider getting help from a certified dog trainer in your area. It should be the case that they will be able to show you what you are doing wrong and how to train your husky effectively.
When training your husky it is important to be patient. It is unlikely that your husky will make dramatic improvements with just one training session but if you stick with it over the course of weeks and months it will make much more noticeable progress.